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A digital reference collection of microbotanical specimens (e.g., starch grains and phytoliths) extracted from modern plants and archaeological residues (e.g., from artifacts, human/animal teeth, and sediments).

This project, run by graduate students at the McMaster Paleoethnobotanical Research Facility (MPERF), collates information on microscopic plant remains as a functional open-access photographic database.

These comparative digital specimens are imperative for successful identification of ancient plant remains by archaeologists, palaeoecologists, and paleoethnobotanists.

Accurate identifications of ancient plants aid our broader anthropological understanding of human-environment relationships, as we follow key plant species in deep time - their economic uses, movements across the landscape, and historical patterns.

View the McMaster Microbotanical Database